California State Controller John Chiang offers this daily tax tracker to follow personal income taxes, sales and use taxes and corporate taxes -- the three major sources of revenue for the State.

The site will be updated regularly throughout each business day. Preliminary posts use dollar figures from tax administration agencies, while the following day the Controller will post reconciled (actual cash) figures. The latest figures are always available via direct download. Preliminary sales tax figures, along with personal income tax withholdings will be available by 10:30 a.m., followed by total personal income and corporate tax receipts, along with final sales tax numbers between 1:30 and 4:00 p.m. the same business day.

The chart on the right of this screen tracks the cumulative total of income, sales and corporate tax and compares it against estimated benchmarks for the month.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Many Filers Don't Have To Pay

Not all who file shall pay. Many people filing tax returns today will escape having any tax liability. They may qualify for refundable credits that exceed their tax liability. Or they may find that after making various tax adjustments (such as deductions and credits), their entire tax liability has been eliminated.

Consider that in 2011, 15.0 million resident taxpayers filed returns, but 6.5 million (43 percent) had no tax liability. Nearly all of the non-taxable returns were filed by those reporting adjusted gross incomes (AGI) of less than $50,000. Comparing the returns by AGI, the nontaxable returns are predominately among the lower AGI classes.
  • Of the 9.5 million returns reporting AGI less than $50,000, 6.1 million (65 percent) had no tax liability.
  • Of the 3.1 million returns reporting AGI between $50,000 and $100,000, 300,000 (10 percent) had no tax liability.
  • Of the 1.7 million returns reporting AGI between $100,000 and $200,000, less than 11,000 (1 percent) had no tax liability.
  • Of the 700,000 returns reporting AGI exceeding $200,000, less than 2,400 (0 percent) had no tax liability.

April 15th Arrives

Today, in case anyone needed the reminder, is income tax day. We expect more than 8 million resident taxpayers will have liabilities due today. Most tax liabilities will be less than $1,000.

According to the Franchise Tax Board’s latest annual report, 8.5 million resident taxpayers had a liability in 2011. Of those, 3.8 million (45 percent) had liabilities of up to $1,000, and another 1.3 million (15 percent) paid between $1,000 and $2,000. For 2.0 million (23 percent) other taxpayers, tax liabilities ranged from $2,000 and $6,000. The rest, about  1.4 million (17 percent), had liabilities exceeding $6,000.

With many taxpayers struggling until the end to meet the filing deadline, the heaviest cash flows can be expected tomorrow and Thursday. Last year, reflecting the impact of capital gains, an improving economy, and higher tax rates, April tax receipts peaked on the 16th of the month at $2.7 billion. This number includes withholding taxes filed by companies in addition to estimated and final tax payments but does not reflect the impact of refunds. With tax rates holding steady during the past year, this year's peak for the month is likely to be much less than last year, but it is still expected to be close to or surpass $1.5 billion.